Fat Tire Belgian Style Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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Fat Tire Belgian Style AleFat Tire Belgian Style Ale
8,957 Ratings
Fat Tire Belgian Style AleFat Tire Belgian Style Ale

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
After a trip to Europe, New Belgium’s co-founder returned to Colorado from Belgium with a handful of ingredients and an idea. Two years later, Fat Tire – named in honor of his inspired bike ride across the Belgian countryside – pedaled its way into the hearts of beer drinkers. Now considered an iconic centerpiece of the craft beer movement, Fat Tire represents the American spirit of craft brewing ingenuity and an irresistible imagination that reminds us all to rediscover our playful side.

Fat Tire’s unique flavor profile originates from the late 1930s, when local Belgian breweries aimed to satisfy the tastes of visiting British soldiers. English floral hops, subtle malt sweetness and spicy, fruity notes from Belgian yeast made for a balanced yet magical combination. These same characteristics are at the heart of Fat Tire. Classified as an Ameri-Belgo style ale by the revered Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup competitions, Fat Tire blends a fine malt presence, fresh herbal hop balance and a touch of fruity yeast to offer drinkers everywhere a timeless craft beer experience with a rare blend of balance and complexity.

Added by kbub6f on 10-07-2000

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,957 |  Reviews: 2,088
Photo of Naerhu
2.91/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Nice transparent body with a low sticky head.
S - Malty, grainy aroma with only a trace of sweetness in the background.
T - Malty flavor with light bitterness and thin sweetness. Very simple.
M - Low carbonation, not very crisp. Medium body.
D - This is a easy drinking beer, but has little else going for it.

Best before date: 17Feb06
Consummed on: 31Jan06

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Photo of VoodooBrew
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Time was, I liked Fat Tire a whole, whole lot. I'm sure the recipe and production techniques haven't changed in the intervening time, however I think my own personal tastes have shifted to where this beer doesn't quite do it for me the way it once did. As such, whenever I'm at an establishment where Fat Tire is for sale, there are usually enough other beers available that preclude me from buying Fat Tire. But when a case is on sale for $15, I have no problem picking it up.

Whereas Fat Tire likes to promote its "feat of balance," I personally feel the beer leans heavily upon its biscuity-malt character, without much hops to equalize things. Then again, if I were to seek balance I'd look in an APA (okay, or a good hoppy Brown Ale). That's just where my tastes are nowadays.

I don't want to sound too down on Fat Tire. I think it is a fine beer, well-made, and certainly drinkable. I think the aroma shows a side of maltiness that you don't usually run into, and to be fair I detect more hop bitterness with subsequent sips. As I said, not too long ago I was a very big fan. But my tastes being what they are now, I tend to prefer a beer that does not showcase cereal, biscuity malt flavors in the way that Fat Tire -- quite deftly I might add -- does.

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Photo of mbunje
3.37/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a pint glass

Aggressive pour yielded 1/2 inch of bone white head. quickly dissapates. Very clear amber/copper color. Looks clean/pure. Little lacing

Smell is chocolate and lemon. Unique. Well done for an amber.

Taste is malt and bready

Dry, carbonated feel.

Drinkable brew, not overpowering by any means.

Fairly boring brew, good for a few beers, but flavor is a bit lacking and it doesn't leave me with an impression.

I bought a 12 pack of bombers from Costco, UNREFRIGERATED. I know, I know, ....save it. I'll re-taste with a tap drawn beer or a cold bottle to see if there is any improvement.

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Photo of acrawf6
3.36/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a deep amber color with a slight tan 1 inch head that goes down quickly.

Smells, like the bottle says, toasty. It is a toasty malt smell. A slight sweet smell and fruity smell like apples, or apple juice. Just a malty aroma. a little grainy cereal comes to mind.

Taste is decent. a light sweet malty flavor. Malty, but not overpowering, or even that strong. Seems many people would like this, which isnt always a good thing. i dont taste any hop flavor coming out, but it does seem balance like its there.

Mouthfeel is ok. average carbonation. This is a malty beer, hops are a little too outweighed here. It dries my mouth.

Overall i could see this beer selling off the shelves around my area, but i an not totally convenced on it. I kept hearing about this beer before, but i am a little disappointed. I'd certainly drink it again, but i wouldnt seek out for it.

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Photo of longarm
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growing up in Ft. Collins, this likely pushed/enticed me into the wonderful world of better beer. I remember its excellence on tap or in bombers from local distributors, but my experience trying it in distant locales has previously been a little disappointing. I'm hoping they've improved freshness, since I picked up a 12 pack in Arizona for a taste.

Beautiful amber coloration. Decent carbonation bubbling from the glass bottom enhances the visuals, but little to no head or lacing quickly fades.

Aroma has sweet carmelized malts mixed with date/raisin and maybe a little apricot.

Almost backwards from my expectations, bitterness ebbs from the first dose of flavor, followed with a brief kick of sugary malt that fades into a sour-bitter haze. I taste a moderate dose of hops that didn't seem at all present on the nose. The contrast between expectations announced by the aroma and the actual flavors the appear is dramatic IMO and make this a far quirkier brew than I ever remember or imagined. This odd result is enough for me to bump it up a half-point on both drinkability and flavor, since it seems like an accomplishment rarely achieved and certainly not achieved with the accomplishment here.

Mouthfeel is clean and certainly well-suited to quaffing repeated brews.

Not a Belgian, but not a simple amber either, this beer refuses to color within the lines and stands as a true testament to the spirit of the late 20th century microbrew revival in the U.S..

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Photo of joecast
2.33/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

abv listed at 5.2% best before 17/mar/06

clear amber with a light orange tinge. light carbonation and almost no head. very little white lacing on the surface.

aroma is light, even after letting it warm a bit. mostly sweeter malt over anything else. nothing to rave about.

pretty dry, almost medicinal taste. comes across as a macro lager with some crystal malt really.

some plasticy quality about the mouthfeel. pretty tough to finish. in fact, i dont think i will.

ive read some good things about new belgium, and this beer in particular. maybe this is just a bad batch, but didnt see anything else available from them. disappointing.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
3.05/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours into my nonic glass a reddish-gold with a short, fizzy head that falls quickly to a thin ring. There's a little lacing left that's persistent, but there's not much of a head to leave lots.

Smell brings to mind peaches, pears and cat... um... well... cat piss. Some fruitiness and acidities. Really not so bad, just not so great.

Subtle tastes; Fruits, grains in crackerish form, a very brief hop bitterness. Pretty well balanced, I guess. Just kind of unenthusiastic in total flavor quality.

Mouthfeel suffers; Not enough carbonation, or rather not carbonation of the right sort. What's there is too tight to really excite the flavors around the palate, and it completely cleans the palate upon swallowing, leaving almost no aftertaste or after-feel.

Definitely drinkable with food; I had this with pizza and it was a jammin' combination. I wouldn't choose it to drink it by itself, though. When a beer excites me I write long reviews; This one didn't impress me for how much I've heard about it.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.21/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh from the tap this beer is a clear, bubbly amber color with a foamy white cap. The aroma is toasty, but faint. It tastes dry and bready, with not alot of sweetness. Bitterness is subtle. It has a clean crisp feel on the palate, and isn't too thin. I always think of Fat Tire as good drink paired with a meal, but not that exciting by itself. There is good balance here, but a little more flavor in general would give this a higher score.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.45/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers of all time. While living in CO, this was a staple in my diet.

Pours a nice amber color with a good head. Deep amber. Lots of lacing down the side of the glass.

Smell is a little sweet, but very complimentary to the hop profile. Hops are fruity and sweet and very pleasing and approachable.

Probably my favorite session beer of all time. Sometimes it can get a little sweet, but all in all, a great beer to keep in your fridge for everyday consumption.

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Photo of marksto
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the flagship brew from New Belgium, a very popular ale and I can understand why. It has enough quality to endear beer enthusiasts and is yet approachable enough to appeal to novices or those who dont normally drink craft beer.

It's flavor and aroma are dominated by major biscuity maltiness. Hop rates are not high but balance well to accent the malt. A very drinkable, refreshing ale.

The label features a Fat Tire cruiser bike. A visit to the brewery will find a bunch of these bikes parked outside as employees are awarded them and frequently ride them to work - cool!

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Photo of sevineyes
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler.

A: Orange cast with off-white head and lacing.

S: Rich and almost pungent. Very sweet and biscuit-like.

T: Nutty, bready sweetness. There's a nice hop presence in the mid-tones that gives a slight grassy taste to break up the big malt presence. Very subtle fruit presence near the end - some bananna, and even a yeastiness. Very distinct flavor that's hard to confuse, but easy to remember.

M: Moderate carbonation. Dry feel in the finish and satisfying until then.

D: Very drinkable.

Overall: Really a beer that has a taste to stay in your memory. A very nice amber that merits visiting time and again.

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Photo of twilight
3.21/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't get it.

Amber orangey with nice lacing and a nice flat bubbly head that laces atop the brew through out. Aroma is fruity, almost reminiscent of Froot Loops.0

The taste, however, is like hard water with spent grains, kind of like that bready taste I don't really like. Slight thin fruitiness with some roasty grain feeling and an acidic/tannin-like aftertaste that is more reminiscent of grain than hops. I don't get why this beer is so popular. Tastes like a souped up amber ale but with a strange aftertate.

This beer is okay, but it is neither here nor there, and the strange Froot Loops taste is pleasing and not pleasing at the same time. Certainly a good brew, but one that I will probably skip in the future. Unless I'm in Colorado, of course...

A special thanks to co-worker Natalie and her father for providing this for me.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.12/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A warm bengal orange, clear as day. Foamy light beige head with meager retention but great lacing.

Smell: Buttery and rich, reminiscent of Brazil nuts, pine nuts, and creamed corn. Caramel malts, toasted wheat, and light, citric hops round out the aroma.

Taste: Everything from the aroma is here, and then some. More hoppy than the nose let on. Strong nutty taste. A bit more malty than I generally prefer for the style, but still very well-balanced with a pleasantly dry, lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Big, soft bubbles create a thick, creamy froth in your mouth. A bit sticky. Great for the style.

Drinkability: I think I could drink this every day. A great sit-back-and-relax beer. The flavor and aroma are so nice, they really help take your mind off everything else. Like meditation in a bottle.

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Photo of mynie
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice pour. A sparklyn new penny pinkcopper with a nice white head and good lacing.

Smells of caramel, strong and sweet, along with a hint of biscuit. Not much complexity, but it's still quite nice.

Tastes of sweet caramel up front, moving into a middle of honey-soaked bread and caramel, ending on a refreshing mix of sweet fruit and dry hops. Very nice.

This is a great session beer that's earned its reputation as a reliable American classic.

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Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

355 ml bottle best by 02 Dec 05, hey that's today! Poured a fairly typical amber ale with a thinnish off-white head. Nice lacing. Slight chill haze.

Smelled something unexpected here; a hint of cheese! Never got that from a beer before. A good smell, however.

Tasted fairly mild, more flavour becoming evident as it warmed up. Slight cidery taste.
Mouthfeel a little thin, reasonable carbonation.

A nice unspectacular brew; quite drinkable.

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Photo of johnyeast
4.28/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Amber in color. Slight head with a carmel color. Crisp taste and very drinkable. May seem an average amber ale to most but I find it one of my favorites. I could drink Fat Tire over and over, and I have. My first encounter with Fat Tire and New Belgium Brewing was in 1997 and since I live in the East I've been hooked ever since. Also helps me to remember good times in Colorado. I wonder how much of beer taste is tied to memories of people, places, things? Does this cloud judgement I wonder?

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Photo of yelterdow
3.89/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Freshness date: 05DEC05.

Served at forty-five minutes over fridge temperature into a Fuller's becker, with much anticipation.

Fat Tire; I never thought the day would come that I would get to sample this classic amber. A friend brought a case back from Colorado to Jersey, and here I sit before my only bottle. Time to hop on the bike...

Appearance- A very pale amber that supports a rugged, two finger head on a rough pour. The bubbles are unusually large and loud, finally quieting to a thin mat. Almost perfect clarity.

Smell- If you could crank the levels of "sweet" and "toasty" both up to 10 simultaniously, and then take a whiff, you would have Fat Tire. Frankly, I have never smelled anything like it... sometimes with a fantastic quadrupel, I find myself with nose buried into a snifter, taking in the magic of the Belgian ways... but never have I done so with a "domestic amber". I get toasted sesame seeds and fresh bread from a bakery just under way at 5:00 in the morning. Magnificent.

Taste- Well done biscuits with sesame seeds, a nice malty character with only a trace of hops. Lingering toastiness in the mouth long after the swallow.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Small, sharp, aggressive carbonation that might best be countered with food... a bit much on its own. The huge toasted maltiness begs for full attention, and grabs it by drink's end. I am glad to have sampled this truly unique beer from a city I probably will never have the pleasure of visiting in the near future.

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Photo of Shovelbum
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A creamy white head over a translucent amber body. Great lace and average retention. Smells of warm biscuits and caramel malts, floral hops. Hints of fruity esters and Belgian yeast. Biscuit and caramel malt flavors with an underlying hop bitterness. Light sweetness. Lean body, smooth in the mouth with a lingering slight bitterness. Very drinkable.

A great session beer. This is definately an American-Beligan hybrid, and therfore in my opinion deserves very high marks within the category of American Amber Ale. Despite its rapidly increasing distribution and what I can only guess must be exponential growth in production, this continues to be a solid brew and a wonderful specimen for beer reeducation. I hope the wider distribution is foretelling a mass shift in American tastes. Thank the gods for New Belgium.

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Photo of stirgy
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a thin to almost no head. Bright and glowing orange-amber color with a decent amount of carbonation in the body. The aroma is cloying with honey and molasses in the forefront and sweet grapefruit in the back. The taste is malty, fruity and lemony that leans towards the sweet side, although a floral honey bitterness is detected. Overall - solid body with a complimentary bitterness. Always happy to have New Belgium's flagship brew. A Classic.

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Photo of merlin48
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Colorado cult classic pours a clear, honey amber with a small almond hued head that quickly falls to a lasting film. Some patchy lace is left behind. Aroma boasts toasty biscuity malt, a note of caramel, and some earthy hops. Mouthfeel is light medium with moderate carbonation. Tastes pretty good for what many label a "crossover beer". Toasty biscuit drenched in caramel gives it a sweetness that is well balanced by a soft earthy hop bitterness. Some yeasty breadiness adds a nice touch. Very pleasant tasting and well balanced. Nothing exceptional, but this is a skillfully crafted amber that has a charming simplicity. I would buy this on occasion if it were available locally.

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Photo of PatYoda
3.19/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great appearance. Bright copper with a long lasting white head and good lacing. Smell is faint, but decent. Toasted grain and a little yeast in there. Taste is very subdued and watery even, but also not bad. What is there has ok flavor I guess. The toasted bread is very evident, but pretty much everything else seems to be missing. There is a bit of an earthy mineral taste also, maybe from the water, maybe from hops. The finish is nonexistant. Surprisingly, the mouthfeel is very nice. Medium bodied for an amber ale, and very creamy on the palate. Not my favorite, but certainly not bad.

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Photo of jclovebrew
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma was the first thing that hit me - distinctly Belgian, very pleasing. Color is a light/bright amber. Creamy head that leaves behind some lacing. The taste, while not bad, was a slight let down - The lovely aroma had me expecting some Belgian 'funk' to be present in the flavor, but it was missing. Instead the flavor is sort of typical American Amber. Not bad at all, but not up to expectations either.

Note: I'm in a hotel room without any proper glassware. Drinking out of a "rocks glass".

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Photo of mntlover
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear lighter amber color with a finger and half cream colored head. Does leave behind some decent lace.

Aroma is toasted caramel malt some light grainy notes some light citrus and grassy hops noted.

Taste is good, toasted grainy malt with a good supply of caramel little too sweet like I remember it but pretty nice. Finishes with that lingering sweetness and a light hop hit citrus/grassy variety mixed.

Mouthfeel is medium good level of carbonation helps the flavor along.

Drinkability is good a decent amber not gret but decent can see why this makes a good cross over brew the newbies enjoy sweet beers. Thanks go to Dertbert for this sample I had many times ages ago.

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Photo of walleye
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from my own private keg that I got for bieristguts wedding on july 2nd in colorado springs.poured a nice orange amber, witha nice medium sized head, hard to tell about the lacing in a plastic glass. aroma toasty malts, caramel, bready. flavor the caramel flavor is the (for those of you who know about sanders) kind you pour over ice cream. nice malts and some bitterness. a very good ber that you could drink alot of. wait I did drink a lot of this stuff I wanted to get my monies worth

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this in a pint glass, poured from the bottle. Nothing special in appearance to be honest. Just an amber ale...

The flavor was very balanced. But this was kind of a bad thing in my opinion. There was almost a negation of flavor. Maybe a little biscuit, but no other malty flavors were detected. Nor did I detect any hops in a major way. Just balanced.

I didn't really like this, and I probably won't get it again unless nothing else is available. I guess it's just a gateway beer.

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Fat Tire Belgian Style Ale from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 3.6 out of 5 with 8,957 ratings